Foreign Affairs

Women’s Empowerment for Conflict Resolution

The Women’s Empowerment for Conflict Resolution certificate is offered in partnership with George Mason University.

Women have the opportunity to play a critically important role in the resolution of conflicts in families, communities, schools, and businesses and in post-conflict settings where refugees and internally displaced persons struggle to survive in the aftermath of violence. There are several factors, which combine to position women to play this role. First, women have, historically, played critically important roles in families, communities, and schools, raising and educating children, and engaging their neighbors and friends, across their communities. Second, women often have the relational networks, in families, organizations and communities that can support their work as conflict resolvers.  Third, women are differentially victimized by violence, at home, and in the context of violent conflict. Domestic violence is increasingly seen as an urgent problem across the world, in every culture. Women are more likely to be victims of human trafficking, or to be victimized by civil wars. For this reason, women have been increasingly the focus of peace building efforts, as the UN and other international actors recognize that women can be positive forces for peace.

There are a series of learning goals associated to this certificate, both theoretical and practical:

Theoretical Competencies

Students will be able to identify conflict patterns, in families, schools, businesses, and communities
Students will understand the development of the concept of “empowerment” and be able to critique the way it is variously defined, and applied in both development and peace building contexts.
Students will have knowledge of current research on “leadership” and understand the challenges for women as leaders.
Students will be able to describe the “gender and peace building” initiatives within the US, as well as provide a critique of these kinds of initiatives.
Students will be familiar with case examples of women who have been excellent leaders in their own country of origin.

Practical Competencies

Students will have an understanding of their own conflict style.
Students will be able to design and implement conflict prevention and resolution programs for families, communities, organizations, and peace building initiatives, at the global level.
Students will be able to design and conduct both empowerment workshops, as well as empowerment programs.
Students will be able to evaluate conflict resolution programs across a variety of contexts.
Students will be able to conduct negotiations, drawing on their knowledge of the specific challenges for women.
Students will be able to conduct mediation.
Students will be able to design and conduct an intercultural dialogue.
Students will be able to design and conduct a process for public deliberation.
Students will be able to design a restorative process that can promote trauma healing for those who have been victimized by conflict.
Students will be able to design a curriculum for conflict resolution, for undergraduate and graduate programs for women in Saudi Arabia.

Leadership for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

In simple systems, there is predictability; information flows in one direction; every person in the system has a role that does not change. Simple systems are essentially closed systems—they do not exchange energy or information with their environment. However, human systems are never simple; they are never closed, but constantly are impacted and impacting their environment. They are unpredictable for this reason; information is always circulating in multiple feedback loops.

Effective leadership in these complex systems requires engagement, not just instruction, as well as a capacity for managing cultural differences associates to cultural diversity. Leaders need more than just perspective and insight, they need to be able to anticipate, manage, and resolve conflicts.

This course will address the important role of leadership Students will have an opportunity to learn and apply leadership concepts and skills within their organization and with the community. This course will expand the students’ understanding of how effective leaders engage in collaboration and conflict resolution. Special emphasis will be devoted to both the practice and theory of leadership and the human capacity to shape and even transform their lives and the world.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a graduate certificate from George Mason University.

Family Conflict: Causes and Resolution

This graduate certificate program is offered in partnership with George Mason University.

In this program, students will examine the fundamentals of a successful process of mediation for family. Students will learn the basic principles of mediation (confidential and voluntary process, encouraging the parties’ self-determination); the basic skills to facilitate communication (reflective listening, summarizing, issue framing); and basic negotiation skills for solving individual needs while preserving their relationship. As a main learning outcome, students will analyze the dynamics of family conflict, learn to identify needs and interests, and offer a respectful process in which the parties themselves can make choices to determine the group’s future life.

Upon successful completion of this certificate, students will be able to

Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of family conflict leading to divorce.
Conduct a multi-perspective analysis of the different needs and interests of parents, grandparents and children, etc. including personal biases, cultural and gender biases and other influences in the parties’ and mediator’s perceptions.
Identify ethical situations where mediator’s effectiveness can be compromised.
Apply individual state statutes relating to family mediation, such as child custody schedule, alimony, and martial property division, etc.
Analyze the degree to which contextual differences shape actors’ experiences and perspectives along the process of marital conflict and marriage dissolution.
Use different mediation procedures to facilitate working through risky issues, such as high emotion and grief due to the divorce, hidden domestic violence and other situations where self- determination could be compromised.
Write various types of agreements detailing the conditions agreed upon, using clear and precise language that is acceptable to the parties, their lawyers and the intervening judge.

Customized Programs in Foreign Relations

Our tailor-made, customized programs help organizations build leaders who have the strategic skills and global vision to tackle complex issues. By bringing together groups of students for a tailored learning experience, you can set the stage for improving performance across your organization.

Please contact us for more information on our customized programs and how we can help you!